Like Drake says, “Better late than never, but never late is better.”
I dare say it’s happened to every single professional, especially in sales.
You put in the work of prospecting a new client, research their company, chip away at the gate keeper and finally get your decision-maker on the phone. Hooray! By the grace of God, you book a meeting!
You get all dolled up, suited and booted, prepare material for the meeting and what do you know?
Mr/Ms Client has cancelled on you with 15 minutes to spare. That’s if you’re lucky to be given notice.
Back in my recruitment days, I once walked 20 minutes through the CBD during a heat wave lugging a laptop bag (in moderately high heels) only to be stopped by reception to say my client was out to lunch. Now, not only is it disappointing to lose out on an opportunity, it grinds my gears knowing I’ve set aside an hour for a meeting, spent an hour preparing for it and in the case of face-to-face meetings I’ve dressed in something other than activewear. All time I could have spent conducting a demo with a genuinely engaged prospect, or following up with past leads, or maybe even online shopping.
In my time, I have heard some terrific reasons for cancelling interviews, such as the time my candidate told me she couldn’t make it to meet my client because her mum was in hospital. The mum (listed as her emergency contact, whom I’d just spoken to while she was out shopping) wasn’t in hospital at all, in fact she hadn’t heard from her daughter all day! Classic.
No, this isn’t just a rant about professional flakiness. Guess what? I’m changing my attitude.
While I can’t change other people’s actions, I can change the way I react to them. Instead of complaining about the time lost, I’m looking at it as time gained.
I’ve recently started using the Notes app on my Mac to separate different tasks I need to do and how long each will take. If I have some downtime because of a meeting being cancelled, instead of complaining about it, I jump into the 20 – 30 minute to-do list and knock over some admin, or respond to a product capability document.
If there’s a whole hour to kill until your next appointment, tackle one of your harder-to-fill roles by running a candidate search in HiringSolved and adding a shortlist into the job.
Client running 10 minutes late? Pay your phone bill online.
5 minutes free between meetings? Jump onto JobAdder and screen some applications.
There are two lessons to be learned here folks. The first is to change your attitude from what you lose to what you could gain. We don’t have time for time wasters!
The second is: don’t be flaky!
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